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“F” is for Floyd, Carlisle Sessions (1926-2021)

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“F” is for Floyd, Carlisle Sessions (1926-2021). Composer. Born in Latta, Floyd studied piano at Converse College and at Syracuse University. After teaching at Florida State University, he was professor of composition at the University of Houston (1976—1996). His 1955 opera Susannah—based on the biblical story of Susannah and the Elders but set in 1950s Tennessee--won the New York Music Critics’ Circle Award in 1956. Susannah is the second most frequently performed opera by an American composer. Among his other compositions are the operas Of Mice and Men (based on John Steinbeck’s novel) and The Passion of Jonathan Wade (set in Reconstruction Columbia). In addition to being his own librettist, Carlisle Sessions Floyd composed more than ten stage works, song cycles, music for orchestra and chorus, and music for piano.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.